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Gmail vs Outlook for Business


As a business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to save money and improve productivity. As such, there are times where it makes sense to consider (and reconsider) the business communication platforms  you're using.

For many years Microsoft Office has been the most popular option when it comes to email and business productivity applications.

Until recently ...

Over the years, Google has done a great job of developing their own application suite, affectionately known as G Suite. This cloud-based platform includes Gmail's powerful email client for business. Gmail is now the most used email client in the world, and many people are switching from Outlook to Gmail.

So, is making the switch a good idea for you? That is exactly what we are going to look at today. In this article we'll compare Gmail vs Outlook for business in terms of pricing, functionality, user experience, search, and more. 

Let's dive in and see if G Suite and Gmail is the best option for your business.

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Cost & Storage


G Suite has three plans to choose from:

  • Basic - $6.00/user/month
  • Business - $12.00/user/month
  • Enterprise - $25.00/user/month

If you're a startup, the Basic plan is more than enough to get started. With it, you’ll get an email address, video and voice calls, secure instant messaging platform, synchronizable calendars, access to the G Suite apps, and 30GB of online storage.

If you're a more established business, consider the Business or Enterprise plans.


Office 365 has seven plans to choose from:

  • Business Essentials - $5.00/user/month
  • Business - $8.25/user/month
  • Business Premium - $12.50/user/month
  • E1 - $8.00/user/month
  • ProPlus - $12/user/month
  • E3 - $20/user/month
  • E5 - $35/user/month

Most users will be able to get away with the Business option which gives them access to the Office 365 Suite including Word, Excel, Outlook, and more.

* NOTE: In order to lock in the prices for Office 365, you have to agree to an annual commitment; G Suite does not have this requirement, making it much more attractive to growing businesses, or businesses with a seasonal workforce.

In order to compare apples-to-apples, we have to figure out which plans are “equal” in offering.

G Suite Basic

$6.00 vs $8.25

Office 365 Business

G Suite Business

$12.00 vs $12.50

Office 365 Business Premium

G Suite Enterprise

$25.00 vs $35.00

Office 365 E5


As you can see, G Suite is the best value in all three categories. Of course, Office 365 has more “tailored” options, but most businesses will do better with Gmail as their email client on a G Suite license.

Winner: G Suite



When it comes to functionality, both Gmail and Outlook are full of features which enhance communication and collaboration. For instance, Microsoft's Office Suite has Skype and G Suite has Hangouts and Chat.

But Gmail is the most used email client in the world now, and there's a reason for that. 

It's lightweight, intuitive, secure, and functional.

Whether you're comparing the Outlook and Gmail desktop or mobile app, Gmail is simply the preferred email client of today's user, both for personal and for business communications. By choosing an email client that most people use every day, you'll be giving your team what they want.

Winner: G Suite

User Experience / Customizations


Next, let us talk about the user experience.

Microsoft has spent a ton of money revamping their style. They created a new look for their mobile platform called the "Metro" look. It uses high contrasting colors and blocking to create a tiled interface.

Google has always been known for its simplicity. Function first.

With Gmail, Google didn't worry about colors and flash, but rather functionality, security, and intuitive design.

Take Gmail's innovative Dynamic Email or Confidential Mode as examples of Google's commitment to innovation and feature-rich design.

And if you're an inbox organization nerd, you'll find that Gmail's label system may be more to your liking than the old school folder structure found in Outlook.

Winner: G Suite

Searching Emails


We all know the frustration of trying to find that one "lost" email. No matter how hard you look, you cannot seem to find it.

Both Microsoft and Google have impressive algorithms that work well when searching emails. However, only one can be the undisputed king of search - that would be Google.

Not only can you search for your emails in G Suite's Gmail, enhanced search features like Google Cloud Search and eDiscovery make it easy to locate any email, chat record, or file that you need in seconds. 

Outlook's search, by comparison, is fairly "Plain Jane." It can get the job done, but the way in which emails or sorted in the returned results is not nearly as intuitive (or helpful) as search in the Gmail interface.

Winner: G Suite

Is Gmail or Outlook Best for Business?


This looks like a landslide victory for G Suite and Gmail, but in reality these are both excellent email clients.

While Gmail did win our head-to-head in each of the four categories discussed here, the truth is that some of this comes down to personal preference.

We have to give Microsoft credit ... when you are the business email client for so many years, it would be easy to rest on your laurels while Google and others leave you in their dust, but Microsoft has done such a good job keeping up with Google - the most innovative company of the modern age. 

For most business users, the best option is Gmail as part of G Suite. It is more cost-effective, more functional, more collaborative, has better synchronization options, and has one of the best search engines in the world.

Microsoft may have been the "beast to beat", but in our view, they have finally met their slayer.

If you are on the fence between these two options, then the choice should be clear now - Google's G Suite business solution with professional Gmail.

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"Moving to G Suite from our legacy email system saved our business $45,000 - $50,000 in hardware and support costs."

Joshua Wold, IT Manager